5 ways to optimise student health

By Professor David Russell and Charlotte Harbour BSc Nutritional Therapeutics

Nutrition can be an overwhelming topic with many conflicting research studies and hotly debated topics – it can be frustrating and confusing to understand the best route towards optimal health, so we’d like to share five top tips on how you can start implementing healthy lifestyle changes today.

1. Eat 5-7 portions of vegetables per day

We all know that vegetables are good for us – it really is true! Try and consume at least one serving of leafy green veg as well as another serving of cruciferous veg (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) per day – keep the other portions vibrant and fresh. Fruit can also be enjoyed at 1-2 servings per day.

2. Enjoy oily fish 2–3 times a week

The omega 3 fats found in fish are beneficial to brain, heart and hormonal health. Enjoy oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, and why not swap out tinned tuna for tinned sardines at lunch?

3. Favour starchy carbohydrates over grains

While grains such as wild rice are a good source of fibre and B vitamins, starchy carbohydrates such as sweet potato, butternut squash and chickpeas are excellent alternatives that pack a greater nutritional punch than grains. While grains need not be eliminated, it might be worth swapping them out a couple of times a week to enjoy a greater variety of vitamins and minerals.

4. Stay hydrated

We are 70% water, so it goes without saying that hydration is important. Adding a small amount of Himalayan pink sea salt to your water can help add in electrolytes lost by exercise.

5. Consider a vitamin D supplement

It is estimated that up to 75% of the UK population is deficient in the ‘sunshine’ vitamin D (which is actually hormone!). This is because we live far up in the north and it is not possible to ingest optimal amounts from food. Consider a vitamin D3 supplement if this works with your health plan. If you are unsure, speak to a nutritionist or dietician.


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